The American Dipper (also called Water Ouzels) are one of the more conspicuous birds of the northwest forests. These birds forage for their food under the surface of whitewater streams. They often squawk loudly while flying purposefully – straight and low – over the water surface, stopping on rocks or branches. This one was repeatedly returning for food for her two fledgling chicks. This was along a stretch of the Deschutes River, just south of Bend OR. I felt pretty lucky to get such a composition… there’s a lot going on here – the morsel of food, the bright red mouths, the dripping water… Feed me!
This bird was taking a rest on a log near University Falls in the Oregon coast range.
The Dipper gets its name possibly for two reasons. First, they dip in the water to get their food. But, they also have a curious habit flexing their legs and “dipping”, almost like a curtsy. They do this almost continuously… rarely just standing still – almost like a tic.